1. Set Goals
Ideally on Sunday (but Monday is ok), I like to take some time out to think about the week ahead. I follow Dr Covey’s approach to goal-setting as outlined in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This involves the following:
Identifying Roles: identify the key roles in your life. If you haven’t given this much thought before, just write down what immediately comes to mind. Some of my roles, for example, are: father, husband, blogger, employee, and uncle.
Selecting Goals: next think of 2 or 3 important things you would like to accomplish in each of these roles in the coming week. For example, as an uncle I need to buy and send presents for my niece and nephew so that they reach Australia in time for Christmas day.
Scheduling: this basically involves taking the above goals, and scheduling time to do them. Be flexible though – in most cases some daily adapting is also needed.
2. Get the Most Out of Every Day
This may sound like a cliche, but each and every day is a gift. Don’t indefinitely delay happiness in your life or settle for being bored. Be inspired. Live with vitality. Enjoy life every day.
3. Do That Thing You Are Resisting
Almost everyone has at least one thing that they are resisting. Perhaps it is fixing something around the house, making an important phone call or re-starting the exercise habit. Get that thing done, and you will be sure to feel to feel as if you have accomplished something this week.
4. Nurture Your Relationships
I truly believe that happiness is highly dependant on the quality of our relationships with other people. So be committed to nurturing these relationships. Here are some quick ideas how:
Pick up the phone: email is great, but make a point every so often to pick up the phone and speak to your friends and family.
Meet a friend for lunch: do you have a friend that seems to have fallen off the side of the Earth? Invite them out to lunch and catch up on everything you have missed.
Ping: even if you are extremely busy this week, find the time to send a friend or family member a quick email or text message. If nothing else, it shows you are thinking about them.
Remember birthdays: make a point to remember important dates, such as birthdays. I suggest taking time out one day to mark your diary with these important dates. Tip: Facebook is great for discovering birthdays.
5. Stretch Yourself
Stretch yourself by trying something new this week. If you need some ideas, check out my article 50 Ways to Improve Your Life.
6. Be Disciplined
Starting the week by setting goals is a bit like making new years eve resolutions: they are easy to make, but as time progresses it can be hard to capture the same motivation that was present when you first made them. If you struggle with self-discipline, I suggest keeping the following quote in mind:
“When the morning’s freshness has been replaced by the weariness of midday, when the leg muscles quiver under the strain, the climb seems endless, and, suddenly, nothing will go quite as you wish – it is then that you must not hesitate.” – Dag Hammarskjold
7. Make a Difference
This week commit to making a positive difference in the world. Even the following small actions can make a big difference in the life of another person and/ or the world:
Buy lunch for a hungry pan-handler
Donate to that person shaking a tin for charity
Plant a tree
Volunteer your time for a good cause
Put a smile on a child’s face